What is Online Coaching and Is It for You?

Online coaching has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, thanks to advances in communications technology. Many professionals have started to offer this option as an alternative to traditional face-to-face counseling. Some professionals also offer it as a primary service and only provide online coaching

When you’re just starting on this career path, it can be difficult to determine what kind of service you want to offer. Here’s a small guide to help you determine if this is the right choice for you:

What is Online Coaching?

Online coaching is the process of providing all coaching support through online mediums like emails, chat applications, video communication software like Skype, etc. Some professionals offer multiple communication options while others prefer to stick with one medium. 

As with all types of coaching, this approach has some great advantages and a few disadvantages. If you want to start online coaching, it is important to consider these issues carefully. 

What are its Advantages?

Online coaching has become popular because it offers several great advantages. It is suitable for people from all walks of life and relatively easy to implement. Here’s a look at some of its biggest advantages:

  • Large Client Base – Coaches can slowly build a large client base if they offer online services. They’re no limited by geographical constraints as there’s no need for the client to travel to your office. Coaches can even offer services to clients in different countries. For example, a coach in Australia can offer services to a client in Germany. Some clients may even seek out coaches in specific countries because they want someone familiar with a particular market. 
  • Very Accessible – Online coaching is very accessible. People in remote areas or with mobility issues can access a life coach’s services easily. This helps you reach more people and ensure they reach their goals comfortably.
  • Convenient – Convenience is one of the biggest advantages of online sessions. You can conduct them from the comfort of your home. These sessions are convenient for the clients as well because they don’t need to travel to the coach’s office. Online sessions often require less time commitment. 
  • Requires Minimal Investment – Online coaching requires very little investment. You don’t need to buy or rent a separate office space for it. Just make sure you have a good camera and a microphone to ensure there’s no disruption in communication. 
  • Reliable and Effective – Many coaches and clients worry that online coaching isn’t as effective as face-to-face sessions. Experts believe there’s a little bit of an adjustment period necessary to ensure everyone is comfortable. Once you become accustomed to it, online coaching is reliable and effective.

With proper preparation, online coaching is a great way to help clients. Some coach training establishments offer special courses to help professionals adapt to this medium. 

What are its Disadvantages?

While online coaching is convenient, it also has a few disadvantages. Here’s a look at some of them:

  • Adjusting to the New Medium – It can be difficult for some clients to adjust to the new mode of communication. 
  • Technological Issues – Technical issues are fairly common if you don’t have the right equipment. You need a good camera, microphone, and internet connection. 
  • Client Hesitation – Some clients are hesitant to adopt this mode of communication. They don’t consider online sessions as effective as face-to-face coaching. 
  • Likelihood of Miscommunication – There’s an increased likelihood of miscommunication through an online medium. The coach won’t be able to see the client’s non-verbal and visual cues as effectively. 
  • Work-Life Balance – It can be difficult to maintain a proper work-life balance with online coaching. Many coaches struggle to maintain proper hours, especially if they help international clients. Working odd hours and a lack of clear breaks can eventually take its toll. 

Fortunately, it is possible to overcome these disadvantages with some planning and care. 

Online coaching has become increasingly essential these days due to the pandemic. People have become more comfortable with communicating through a digital medium. They are more likely to book your service if you offer this option. Make sure you have the right setup like good internet service, a great camera, and even a microphone to ensure the client can hear your voice clearly.